Types of Trauma

Dec 29, 2023

In our journey through life, we often encounter experiences that deeply affect us, leaving imprints on our minds and hearts. “Types of Trauma” is a sensitive exploration of the various emotional and psychological traumas we may experience. Understanding trauma is crucial for healing and growth.

This blog post aims to provide a compassionate, informative guide to the different types of trauma, offering insights into how these experiences can shape our lives. Whether you are navigating your own path to recovery or seeking to support others, this post is a safe space for learning, understanding, and finding a shared sense of empathy and reassurance.


What is Trauma?

Trauma is an emotional or psychological response to an event or series of distressing or harmful events. These events are often beyond a person’s ability to control or cope, causing helplessness, fear, or intense stress. Traumatic experiences can vary widely and may include but are not limited to accidents, violence, abuse, natural disasters, or the sudden loss of a loved one.

The impact of trauma can be intense, affecting an individual’s mental, emotional, and physical well-being. It can disrupt a person’s sense of safety, trust, and security, leading to emotional and behavioural responses. While some individuals may be resilient and able to cope effectively, others may struggle to manage the aftermath of trauma.

Understanding trauma is crucial in the fields of psychology, psychiatry, and counselling, as it plays a significant role in shaping an individual’s mental health and overall life experience. Therapeutic interventions and support systems are often employed to help individuals navigate and recover from the effects of trauma, promoting healing and resilience.


The Impact of Trauma on Mental Health

Trauma has lasting effects on mental health, disrupting balance and leading to issues like stress reactions, PTSD, depression, and anxiety. Those affected may experience intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, and nightmares, reliving the event and maintaining heightened alertness.

Trauma can disrupt emotion regulation, leading to mood swings, difficulty managing emotions, potential withdrawal from triggering situations and impacting cognitive functions such as memory, concentration, and decision-making. In severe cases, it may contribute to substance abuse and worsening mental health challenges.

Trauma affects mental health differently for each person, depending on factors like personal history, resilience, support systems, and the nature of the event. Recovery typically requires professional help and a supportive environment. Acknowledging and addressing trauma’s mental health impact is crucial for the path to recovery and restoring a sense of safety and normalcy.


Types of Trauma

A sequence of silhouettes of people from different generations, each carrying a symbolic burden, to represent Intergenerational Trauma.

The experience of trauma is diverse, with different forms that have distinct characteristics and effects. It is important to understand these various types of trauma to identify their expressions and develop effective treatment approaches. 


1. Acute Trauma

Acute trauma refers to the mental and emotional reactions triggered by a singular distressing incident, posing an immediate threat to an individual’s physical or psychological well-being. This form of trauma is typically marked by its abrupt onset, arising from specific events that are overpowering and beyond the scope of ordinary human experiences.

i. Acute Traumatic Events

Acute traumatic events, such as severe accidents, natural disasters, or personal assaults, are intense situations that can shatter an individual’s sense of security, causing an extreme feeling of vulnerability and helplessness.

ii. Immediate Effects of Acute Trauma

Sudden and severe trauma can evoke strong emotional, physical, and cognitive reactions such as shock, denial, nausea, and difficulty concentrating. These immediate responses are the body’s natural way of coping with stress, akin to a ‘fight-or-flight’ mode. While these reactions are normal in the short term, the presence of persistent symptoms suggests a potential for long-term psychological issues. As individual responses to trauma differ, timely intervention and support play a vital role in speeding up recovery.


2. Chronic Trauma

Chronic trauma refers to prolonged and repeated exposure to highly stressful situations or events. In contrast to acute trauma, which is associated with a singular incident, chronic trauma involves enduring stress that can fundamentally reshape an individual’s sense of self and perception of the world.

i. Chronic Traumatic Events

Repeated exposure to ongoing trauma, such as domestic violence, prolonged conflict, abuse, high-crime areas, or chronic illnesses, creates an environment of constant threat, significantly impacting mental well-being and causing traumatic stress.

ii. Long-Term Effects of Chronic Trauma

Chronic trauma can cause lasting issues like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety. It leads to heightened alertness, difficulty in relaxation and trust, emotional numbing, detachment, and despair. It hampers relationship-building and may lead to substance abuse, affecting daily functioning. 


3. Complex Trauma

Complex trauma refers to undergoing numerous and diverse traumatic events, typically of an intrusive and interpersonal nature. It frequently involves a sense of being confined, leaving the individual feeling powerless to evade the repercussions of the trauma.

i. Complex Traumatic Events

Events that cause trauma, such as child abuse, domestic violence, and human trafficking, typically involve direct harm or neglect inflicted by individuals in positions of authority. This betrayal erodes the victim’s trust and undermines their sense of safety within specific relationships or environments.

ii. Unique Characteristics of Complex Trauma

Severe trauma deeply affects identity, relationships, and emotional well-being, hindering healthy attachments and emotion regulation. Persistent feelings of shame, guilt, and worthlessness impact interpersonal relationships. Specialized therapy is essential to address these grave effects.


4. Intergenerational Trauma

Intergenerational trauma is the passing down of trauma from one generation to the next. This phenomenon highlights how the impact of traumatic experiences can reach beyond the person directly affected, affecting future generations.

i. Intergenerational Traumatic Events

Intergenerational trauma arises from historical events like war, genocide, slavery, and forced displacement. This legacy is passed down through altered parenting, emotional responses, and family dynamics, perpetuating a cycle of trauma.

ii. The Transference of Trauma Across Generations

Trauma can pass through generations via direct transmission, maladaptive coping, and societal narratives. Descendants may show issues, emphasizing the need for broader, culturally sensitive interventions.


5. Developmental Trauma

Developmental trauma refers to the psychological and emotional damage that occurs during a child’s formative years as a result of persistent adverse experiences. This type of trauma is particularly insidious because it interferes with the child’s development and can have far-reaching consequences into adulthood.

i. Developmental Traumatic Events

Traumatic events in childhood, such as abuse, neglect, or exposure to domestic violence, disrupt a child’s sense of safety and trust, impacting their emotional and psychological development.

ii. The Impact of Developmental Trauma on Children

Developmental trauma in children hinders attachment, emotional regulation, behaviour, and cognitive development. It heightens anxiety and insecurity, leading to long-term mental health issues. Addressing it requires a comprehensive approach considering psychological, emotional, and physical needs.


6. Vicarious Trauma

Vicarious trauma, also known as secondary trauma, occurs when professionals, such as therapists and emergency responders, indirectly experience the effects of trauma through their work with individuals who have undergone traumatic events.

i. Vicarious Traumatic Events

Vicarious trauma results from professional exposure to traumatic events. These events include listening to detailed accounts, working with severely traumatized individuals, or encountering trauma-related materials in legal or medical settings.

ii. The Impact of Vicarious Trauma on Helping Professionals

Vicarious trauma affects helping professionals, leading to worldview changes, emotional exhaustion, and potential burnout. Recognizing, acknowledging, and providing self-care and institutional support are essential for mitigation. Training in coping strategies is important for their well-being.


A small, fragile sapling in harsh weather, representing Developmental Trauma.

Disorders associated with trauma result from stressful events that trigger diverse responses. It is important to understand these conditions to deliver effective support and treatment.


1. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that arises from experiencing or witnessing a deeply distressing event. It can significantly affect an individual’s emotional and psychological well-being over time.

i. Causes of PTSD

PTSD results from exposure to events like combat, disasters, accidents, terrorism, rape, or assaults. Not everyone affected develops it; personal history, mental health, and trauma intensity contribute.

ii. Symptoms of PTSD

PTSD symptoms include flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, intrusive thoughts, distress at reminders, avoidance, emotional changes, and hyperarousal.

iii. Treatment Options for PTSD

PTSD treatment includes:

  • Psychotherapy (CBT, EMDR, exposure therapy).
  • Medications (antidepressants).
  • Crucial support from family and friends.


2. Dissociative Disorders

Dissociative disorders mean there’s a separation between thoughts, identity, awareness, and memory. People with these disorders unintentionally and harmfully disconnect from reality.

i. Types of Dissociative Disorders

Major types include:

  • Dissociative Amnesia: inability to recall important personal information) 
  • Dissociative Identity Disorder: formerly multiple personality disorder
  • Depersonalization-Derealization Disorder: feeling disconnected from oneself or surroundings

ii. Symptoms of Dissociative Disorders

Symptoms may differ but might involve forgetting specific times, events, people, and personal details. People may feel disconnected from themselves and their emotions and see others and things around them as distorted and unreal.

iii. Treatment Options for Dissociative Disorders

Treatment typically includes talking therapy, which helps integrate split personality or improves memory and awareness. There may be certain medications for additional symptoms like depression or anxiety.


3. Adjustment Disorders

Adjustment disorders are stress-related conditions that occur when someone has a hard time dealing with a big change or a stressful event in their life.

i. Causes of Adjustment Disorders

Breakups, job loss, death, or major life changes can trigger these disorders, whether it’s a one-time event or ongoing.

ii. Symptoms of Adjustment Disorders

Symptoms include intense sadness, hopelessness, physical complaints, and behavioural changes, exceeding normal reactions to events.

iii. Treatment Options for Adjustment Disorders

People usually get therapy to learn how to cope, and sometimes, physicians may give medicine for depression or anxiety symptoms.


4. Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorder

Substances such as drugs, alcohol, or medications directly induce hallucinations and delusions in Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorder.

i. Causes of Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorder

Abusing drugs like hallucinogens, amphetamines, cocaine, alcohol, and certain prescription medications, as well as substance withdrawal, can lead to this disorder.

ii. Symptoms of Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorder

Symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, incoherent speech, and impaired functioning. These symptoms are more severe than typical intoxication and not related to a pre-existing mental disorder.

iii. Treatment Options for Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorder

Treatment aims to help people stop using substances, handle symptoms, and address any underlying substance use issues. It may involve detox, rehab, and therapy.


5. Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a mental health condition where a person experiences mood swings and unpredictable behaviour and relationships.

i. Causes of Borderline Personality Disorder

The exact cause of BPD is unknown, but factors include genetics, brain structure and function, and environmental, cultural, and social factors such as childhood trauma or neglect.

ii. Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder

Symptoms include emotional instability, feelings of worthlessness, insecurity, impulsivity, risky behaviours, and unstable relationships. Individuals may also have an intense fear of abandonment and mood fluctuations.

iii. Treatment Options for Borderline Personality Disorder

Treatment often includes treatments like dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), and schema-focused therapy. Medications may address co-occurring issues like depression or anxiety. Support groups and education are also important.


What Happens if Trauma Isn’t Treated?

Untreated trauma can result in long-term psychological, emotional, and physical consequences, affecting relationships, work, and overall well-being.


1. Psychological and Emotional Consequences

i. Chronic Mental Health Issues:

Untreated trauma can lead to issues like PTSD, depression, anxiety, and substance abuse, causing ongoing struggles with fear, anger, sadness, or guilt.

ii. Emotional Dysregulation:

Trauma survivors may struggle with emotions, causing mood swings, intense anger, or persistent numbness and detachment.

iii. Impaired Relationships:

Trauma may hinder trust and connections, causing relationship issues, social withdrawal, or unstable interpersonal patterns.

iv. Self-destructive Behavior:

Without treatment, individuals may engage in self-harm or other risky behaviours as a way of coping with the trauma.


2. Physical Health Consequences

i. Somatic Symptoms:

Trauma can cause physical symptoms like chronic pain, gastrointestinal issues, headaches, and fatigue.

ii. Increased Health Risks:

Untreated trauma correlates with a higher risk of chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity.

iii. Sleep Disturbances:

Insomnia and disrupted sleep worsen other health issues.


3. Cognitive and Functional Impact

i. Cognitive Impairments:

Trauma can affect memory, focus, and decision-making, impacting daily life and work.

ii. Occupational Challenges:

Unaddressed trauma can hinder work performance, causing absenteeism, lower productivity, and job loss.


4. Social and Economic Impact

i. Social Isolation:

Untreated trauma can cause isolation, reducing social support and making individuals more vulnerable to stress.

ii. Economic Burden:

Healthcare costs, reduced productivity, and possible job loss add to the financial burden on individuals and society.


5. Risk of Re-traumatization

i. Vulnerability to Future Trauma:

Without coping skills and support, people might face re-traumatization or unintentionally expose themselves to situations that repeat the trauma cycle.

ii. Intergenerational Impact:

Untreated trauma can impact how parents raise their children and the emotional health of future generations.


Self-Care for Trauma Survivors

Self-care is vital for trauma survivors. It includes activities that support mental, emotional, and physical well-being, helping regain control, reduce trauma symptoms, and improve overall quality of life.

Key aspects of Self-Care for Trauma Survivors include:

  • Understanding and Acknowledging Trauma: To practice self-care, start by recognizing how trauma affects your body and mind. Understand its impact and acknowledge your feelings and experiences without judgment.
  • Establishing Safety and Stability: Ensuring safety and stability is vital. It varies for each person—whether it’s a secure home, healthy boundaries, or consistent routines for a sense of normalcy.
  • Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques: Try meditation, deep breathing, or yoga to ease stress, anxiety, and depression while boosting emotional control.
  • Physical Care: Exercise, eat well, get enough sleep, and avoid harmful substances for better physical and mental health.
  • Emotional Expression: Expressing emotions safely and constructively is important. It may include journaling, art, music, or other creative things.
  • Social Connections: Healthy relationships offer support and reduce loneliness. It includes spending time with loved ones, joining support groups, or participating in community activities.
  • Setting Realistic Goals: Setting small goals helps boost self-esteem and confidence by providing a sense of accomplishment and purpose.
  • Seeking Professional Help: Knowing when to seek help from mental health professionals is important for self-care. Therapy offers extra tools for handling trauma.
  • Self-Compassion and Patience: Recovering from trauma takes time and patience. Being kind to yourself and recognizing that healing is a journey, not a destination, are important.
  • Avoiding Triggers: It’s important to learn how to recognize and handle triggers that make trauma symptoms worse for better self-care.
  • Engaging in Enjoyable Activities: Doing things that bring joy and relaxation boosts well-being.
  • Educating Oneself: Understanding trauma helps survivors to make wise decisions about their care and recovery.


Supporting a Loved One with Trauma

Supporting Your Loved Ones suffering from Trauma.

Helping a loved one through trauma is tough. It needs understanding, patience, and a commitment to guide them in their healing. Your support is essential for their recovery. 


The Impact of Trauma on Relationships

  • Altered Dynamics: Trauma can alter relationships. The survivor may show distant or irritable behaviour, confusing loved ones.
  • Communication Barriers: Trauma can make it hard for survivors to express their feelings, causing misunderstandings and duress in relationships.
  • Emotional Strain: Supporting a trauma survivor’s healing can be emotionally intense for partners or family.
  • Changes in Intimacy: Sexual trauma can impact intimacy in a relationship, causing survivors to struggle with physical closeness.
  • Secondary Traumatization: Loved ones can feel secondary trauma when closely connected to a survivor’s experiences, causing their emotional reactions and needs.
  • Role Adjustments: The family may need to take on new roles to support a trauma survivor, which can be tough.


How to Support a Loved One with Trauma?

  • Educate Yourself About Trauma: Learning about trauma helps you offer better support by recognizing symptoms and understanding survivors’ behaviours and needs.
  • Offer Emotional Support: Listen without judgment, reassure, and accept. Understand that the survivor may not always want to discuss their trauma, and that’s okay.
  • Maintain a Safe Environment: Making survivors feel secure at home involves respecting their boundaries and following a routine.
  • Encourage Professional Help: Gently encourage them to see a professional for help. Offer to assist in finding a therapist or going with them to appointments for support.
  • Be Patient: Recovering from trauma needs time. Don’t rush their healing; let them go at their own pace.
  • Take Care of Yourself: Supporting someone with trauma can be tough. Take care of your mental health by getting therapy or joining a support group.
  • Help with Daily Tasks: Supporting trauma survivors can be as simple as assisting with daily errands or household chores.
  • Encourage Healthy Habits: Support and join them in healthy activities such as walking, eating well, and practicing mindfulness together.
  • Respect Their Healing Process: Each person’s path to healing from trauma is unique. Respect their journey and avoid comparing it to others.
  • Learn About and Recognize Triggers: Understanding your loved one’s trauma triggers can help you avoid or assist when needed.
  • Avoid Pressuring Them: Respect their boundaries—don’t push them to discuss trauma or do things they’re not okay with.
  • Offer Physical Affection Only If It’s Wanted: Be careful with touch. Get consent before hugging or touching, especially for those who may be sensitive due to trauma.


How to Find a Healing Path Trauma?

Recovering from trauma is a personal journey. It involves trying different strategies and resources to find what works best for you, as healing is not a straight path.

Steps to Finding a Healing Path After Trauma

  • Acknowledgment: To heal, first, recognize that trauma has affected your life. This acknowledgment is key to moving forward.
  • Seek Professional Help: Reach out to a trauma specialist for help. They can provide guidance, support, and effective therapies to aid in your healing.
  • Educate Yourself About Trauma: Learning about trauma can empower you and clarify the symptoms you may be experiencing.
  • Develop a Support System: Be with supportive friends, family, or a support group. Connecting with those who’ve been through similar experiences brings comfort and understanding.
  • Explore Different Therapies: Several therapies help treat trauma, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, EMDR, and somatic experiencing. It’s important to find the right one.
  • Prioritize Self-Care: Take care of your overall well-being by staying active, eating healthily, getting enough sleep, and practicing mindfulness.
  • Set Boundaries: Learn to set boundaries for your well-being and distance yourself from harmful situations or relationships.
  • Practice Mindfulness and Meditation: These practices can help calm you and lessen anxiety symptoms and hyperarousal.
  • Consider Holistic Approaches: Holistic practices such as yoga, acupuncture, and art therapy can help alongside traditional therapy for relief and healing.
  • Create a Routine: A routine helps create stability and safety, especially after a traumatic experience.
  • Journaling: Writing can be a therapeutic way to process your thoughts and feelings.
  • Be Patient with Yourself: Recovering from trauma takes time. Be patient with yourself and know it’s okay to face issues.
  • Avoid Self-Blame: Know that the trauma wasn’t your fault, and let go of any self-blame or guilt.
  • Explore Narrative Therapy: Understanding and sharing your trauma story can be powerful and transformative.
  • Stay Open to Change: As you heal, be flexible with your strategies and find new resources if your needs change.
  • Consider Medication: Medication can help manage symptoms, especially if there’s depression or anxiety alongside.


Trauma-Focused Therapy

A tree with deep roots and branches, symbolizing the family lineage.

Trauma-focused therapy is a specialized type of psychotherapy that helps people who have experienced trauma. It uses different approaches to help people feel better emotionally and mentally after going through trauma. 


The Goals of Trauma-Focused Therapy

i. Processing and Integration of Traumatic Memories:

The goal is to help individuals integrate traumatic memories into their life narratives without compromising their mental well-being.

Ease symptoms linked to PTSD and trauma disorders, like intrusive thoughts, emotional numbness, hyperarousal, and avoidance behaviours.

iii. Enhancing Emotional Regulation:

Therapy helps people handle strong emotions tied to their trauma, like anger, guilt, or sadness.

iv. Improving Interpersonal Skills:

Trauma can affect relationships, so improving communication and relational skills for healthier connections is important.

v. Strengthening Resilience:

Developing resilience is vital for helping individuals handle future challenges and lowering the risk of re-traumatization.

vi. Restoring a Sense of Safety and Trust:

Therapy helps restore a person’s feeling of safety and trust, often affected by traumatic experiences.


Techniques Used in Trauma-Focused Therapy

i. Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT):

CPT helps patients change how they perceive traumatic events by challenging and modifying unhelpful beliefs.

ii. Prolonged Exposure Therapy:

Regularly imagining the trauma or facing reminders helps reduce fear and traumatic memories.

iii. Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT):

TF-CBT is great for kids and teens. It uses talking, play, or drawing to help them deal with trauma.

iv. Psychodynamic Trauma Therapy:

This approach studies how past trauma unconsciously influences current behaviour and relationships.

v. Somatic Therapies:

Methods like Sensorimotor Psychotherapy or Somatic Experiencing help people notice their body sensations, easing tension and releasing stored trauma.

vi. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR):

MBSR uses mindfulness to reduce the impact of traumatic memories.


The Effectiveness of Trauma-Focused Therapy

Trauma-focused therapy is effective in research and practice. It goes beyond managing symptoms, aiming to heal the root causes of trauma distress for lasting results.

i. Efficacy in Treating PTSD:

Studies show CPT, EMDR, and Prolonged Exposure Therapy reduce PTSD symptoms. In a Journal of Traumatic Stress study, EMDR outperformed standard care.

ii. Benefits for Children and Adolescents:

Trauma-focused CBT helps kids with trauma, reducing anxiety, depression, and PTSD symptoms. A study in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry found significant improvement in PTSD symptoms with TF-CBT.

iii. Long-Term Mental Health Benefits:

Trauma-focused therapy not only reduces immediate symptoms but also brings long-term improvements to mental health, resilience, and coping skills.

iv. Improvement in Quality of Life:

Trauma-focused therapy boosts control, strengthens relationships, enhances performance, and brings personal fulfillment.

v. Enhanced Social and Occupational Functioning:

Healing from trauma can make it easier to connect with others and perform better at work, especially with therapies that emphasize social skills and emotional control.

vi. Reduction in Co-occurring Symptoms:

Therapy focused on trauma can help with issues like substance abuse, depression, and anxiety that often come with trauma-related disorders.

vii. Customizable and Diverse Applications:

Trauma-focused therapy is versatile, effectively helping diverse groups, including various cultures and age ranges, making it applicable in different settings.


We are Here to Help

Healing from trauma is a personal process that affects mental, emotional, physical, and relational well-being. Recognizing the different forms and effects of trauma is the first step to effective treatment and recovery. Various traumas demand tailored approaches for healing. 

Thrive Downtown Vancouver Counselling Centre offers trauma counselling and therapy sessions to those seeking help in navigating the often overwhelming journey of trauma recovery. Our dedicated team of compassionate counsellors and therapists is committed to providing tailored solutions for individuals dealing with various forms of trauma. We understand that healing is a unique and personal process, which is why we emphasize a personalized approach to guide you toward recovery and resilience.

Our comprehensive trauma-focused therapy encompasses a range of evidence-based techniques and modalities to address the specific needs of each client. Moreover, we believe in the importance of involving your loved ones in the healing process, offering support and guidance not only to you but also to those close to you who may be affected by your trauma. At Thrive Downtown Counselling Centre, our approach to healing is rooted in empathy, understanding, and a commitment to helping you rebuild your life after trauma.



Types of Trauma FAQs:


1. How is Trauma Treated?

We can treat trauma with personalized therapies such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Prolonged Exposure Therapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) for children, medication, and support groups for sharing experiences and coping.

2. Can Trauma be Prevented?

It is not always possible to prevent events that lead to trauma. However, a mix of strategies like early intervention, mental health support, education, safety measures, and community support can help create resilient and supportive environments in the face of trauma.

3. How Common is Trauma?

Trauma is common—many people go through at least one traumatic event. The type and severity of trauma differ, and not everyone develops trauma-related disorders after experiencing a traumatic event.

4. What are the 4 Types of Trauma Responses?

The four primary types of trauma responses are:

  • Fight: Facing the threat with aggression
  • Flight: Escaping a threat
  • Freeze: Unable to act when confronting a threat
  • Fawn: Trying to please or appease to avoid conflict

5. How Do You Know if You’re Suppressing Trauma?

Recognizing suppressed trauma involves signs like avoiding reminders, mood swings, unexplained physical symptoms, difficulty forming relationships, intrusive thoughts, and self-destructive behaviours. Being aware of these signals is important for acknowledging and addressing potential underlying trauma.

6. What is the Difference Between Acute, Chronic, and Complex Trauma?

Acute trauma results from a single event, chronic trauma from prolonged exposure to stress, and complex trauma involves diverse and invasive events. The difference lies in duration:

  • Acute is a one-time occurrence.
  • Chronic is ongoing.
  • Complex involves a mix of distressing experiences.

7. How Long Can Trauma Last?

The recovery time of trauma varies. Some heal in months, others take years. Chronic trauma can have lasting effects if not properly treated.

8. How Does Trauma Affect the Brain and Body?

Trauma can modify the brain, affecting memory, emotion, and executive function. It triggers the body’s stress response, causing physical symptoms like a faster heart rate, fatigue, and muscle tension. Persistent trauma can also raise the risk of health problems like heart disease and autoimmune disorders.

Carson Kivari

Carson Kivari

Carson Kivari is the Founder and Clinic Director of Thrive Downtown, with years of experience helping individuals and couples overcome anxiety, depression, and burnout. He guides clients on a journey of self-exploration and trauma release to find purpose, connection, and safety. Take the first step towards healing and contact Carson today to schedule a session.

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